Hyphen-Nations | Mary Theresa Keown at Leitrim Sculpture Centre


Hyphen-Nations | Mary Theresa Keown at Leitrim Sculpture Centre Date/Time
Date(s) - 26/11/2021 - 15/12/2021

Leitrim Sculpture Centre




Mary Theresa Keown  |  Artist in Residence Exhibition

Opening Friday 26th Nov, 5pm-8pm

Continues 15th Dec 2021

Gallery Open Wednesday to Saturday, 11am-4pm


Artists Statement

In Keown’s more recent painting and video works the artist uses humor and negation and a practice she calls ‘shape-fussing’ as a way of opening up readings of the fractured self she refers to as the ‘hyphenated subject’ or ‘borderlander.’ The hyphen conjoins Keown’s paintings to her expanded practice which explores the possibility of crossover from the tradition of painting (touch, mirror) to video (digital surface) and back. She also maps the hyphen to critical feminist reading of painting’s modernist discourses, where border figures are explored through cultural paradoxes, affective adjustments and improvisation within her own painting strategies.

For her exhibition at Leitrim Sculpture Centre, Keown examines life along the border including various representations of a divided subject in a divided state. The themes of smuggling and surveillance, for example, explore insights into the visibility and invisibility of the feminine subject in this particular site of contestation. Speaking as a ‘nomadic subject’, her relation to this border as a nomad who crosses it every-day and being partly of both places incurs a double role that is negotiated as an ‘ever-emergent space between two distinct yet linked terms’.1



Born in Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, N. Ireland in 1974, Keown now lives and works in Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. She graduated with first class honours B.A. in Fine Art 1997. She has exhibited her work throughout Ireland, and internationally. Her international shows include Tokyo, Japan; Bilbao, Spain. She has won many awards including the Ireland Fund of Great Britain- Artist of the Year Award in 2001 and her work is housed in many public and private collections. Keown has recently completed a PhD at the University of Ulster with a thesis entitled Hyphenation as a Critical Tool for Contemporary Irish Painting.


  1. J. DeVere Brody, Punctuation: Art, Politics, and Play, London, Duke University Press, 2008, p. 3.


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